Tuesday, October 9, 2012

No Room For Caring


Swing wide your crane, 
Swing wide your crane, 
And run me through.
Bon Iver, The Wolves

Quick announcement.

I'm not dead, I'm still writing, and I'm gonna be working on Zero Tango full-time until the dang thing is done. Progress on this project has taken about twice as long as I had anticipated. A new narrative voice provoked some of these issues, creating a society for functional demi-god sociopaths added a few more, but caring too much for my characters was what ran me through.

I got to this point in the story where I knew what needed to happen but didn't make it happen. Didn't want to hurt them too bad, so I dodged. Big writing wrong right there. It wasn't earnest, it wasn't honest, but I figured I could dig my way out of it with some creative twists. Bigger writing wrong. The cheat started to stink worse and worse as I ran.

I decided I had enough tonight. Playtime is over. I'm not my characters' amigo. I'm their tormentor. I was playing the wrong role, and it showed.

I have to take an axe to about thirty thousand hard-fought words chock-full of Dieter goodness to fix the error. Some fun character dev stuff has to go. Real frustrating, but handling Rei's storyline with the proper level of malice is my sole concern now. If some of the words care too much, they must go. 

I don't have an ETA right now. Just the promise that this volume is gonna be sad.

B.

51 comments:

Karl Sparks said...

I can totally understand why it would be hard to torment Dieter and Rei. I think it will be to hard read it! I approve though, I think forcing a 'Happy Ending' can ruin the plot a bit, especially for future books (Unless of course they die... please don't tell me they die!!). It sucks though that you have to take an axe to so many hard earned words.

Anonymous said...

I totally understand where you're coming from, but the closet romantic in me still hopes that Dieter & Rei can have some sort of a "happy" story. The interactions between the two of them are among my favorite parts of the first two books, so I'm really hoping that we get to see more of those two, in this book and after :)

B. Justin Shier said...

It's cool. I don't mind cutting what needs to be cut. Just wanted to make everyone aware of why there is a delay.

B.

Zach said...

I think I speak for all of your readers when I say that I appreciate that you hold your work to such high standards. As great as the first two books were, it would have been a bit disappointing to get a third book that was not held to the same standards. I am really looking forward to its release. Best of luck B.

François-Xavier Thomas said...

Even if I hope that Rei and Dieter will have at least some kind of a happy ending, I've seen too many amazng stories end up being so-so or even boring because their authors didn't want to end up things properly when it needed to be done.

Congrat's on your hard work anyway! I have to admit I'm still reading the previous books again from time to time, and I'm eagerly waiting for the sequel ;)

Bookblogger said...

Very happy to see an update on the progress! I figured your doctoring was just hogging all your time. Good luck on the rewrites and I can't wait to check out the third installment.

Scott

JohnnyB Dungeon Master said...

Still want a happy ending but that does not mean I want the story compromised. There may be hope in the fourth book, I ask carefully? Forever is a long time from a creature such as Rei... If you can give us a reasonable heads up for release, I would like to reread the first two before it comes out.

Oh and if he can't have a happy ending with Rei I would not be opposed to one with Jules!

B. Justin Shier said...

@JohnnyB: Don't worry. I'll be announcing when the draft is off to the editor. I'll also be able to give a firm release timetable at that point.

B.

Anonymous said...

B. Glad to hear you are back on track.
I just hope you don't take the new version too far in the other direction.
Part of the appeal of your books is the snarky playfulness exhibited by Dieter, Rei and friends, I would hate to see that destroyed.
I enjoyed the first couple Harry Potter books, but when the darkness and conspiracy themes kicked in, the series lost the "magic" and they became just grim.
The "Magic" in your series are the characters - test them in the forge of adversity as you will - but please only kill them "a little" :) they are special....

Anonymous said...

Hey, dont worry about how long it takes. We want your best, no matter how long it takes. I just hope you have lots more books planned for us :) Although its fine if you dont, so long as the ending is good. Still, the more time we get to spend with Dieter and Rei the better. Either way, keep up the good work.

Matt said...

Best news I've heard all day

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. Sad to hear of the cutting of Dieter goodness I so want him to finally get some badassness. Right now he kind of gets eclipsed by Rei deadliness. Anyway I trust ya and really it is your story. And no rape really overdone and just sucks to have to read.

Lachezar Velev said...

Yayyy so happy u are still alive :D had me worried there for a ...weak or 2 :D . Glad u have not forgotten about the book and whatever happens to rei and dieter all is well if it ends well :D

Lachezar Velev said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B.P. Swanson said...

Save your cut for posterity, never know when you might wanna look back on something in your cut file for inspiration or that unique turn of phrase you know you wrote, but can't quite remember.

Oh, and don't be sad about tormenting your characters, I'm absolutely certain that Hara would approve. Keep at it, and make sure someone slaps Dieter at some point, he needs it. :)

Anonymous said...

Don't want Deiter to suffer but if you must, he must for the grand sceme to unfold. Have to say that you don't see a good story with artwork too often but you managed to swing it. I did buy the 1st book for the cover and was pleasantly surprised. Will you be using the same hand artwork theme for this one? Really liked the simple yet engaging artwork and how it represented the story sensationally. Can't wait to relive the story again.

joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
interestedparty said...

Have you thought about releasing the 'Dieter goodness' as an informal novella or even just text for fans?

It doesn't seem like it's going to be chronologically possible to include it in later novels. Further, you've obviously spent a lot of time/energy on it.

I know a LOT of fans would be very interested in any not-plot central (read: non-Rei central) tidbits that explore our favorite dhampir/lifedealer/other-thing character.

76Dachshund said...

Interested- Sorry but I don't think that's going to happen....there's no advantage in it for the author and it would just muddy the storyline -not unlike all the Star Wars universe alternate trash.

I agree with Brian - his best bet is to use it as reference and perhaps "recycle" some of the better scenes or dialog in future works.....one never knows when an extra projectile vomiting scene could come in handy....

interestedparty said...

That assumes B's only in it for the money – which he isn't. Those free novellas authors release are just that – free. Extra material that the author thought fans might enjoy.

They're also perfect for situations like this, where there's a sizable gap between full novels and the author wants to maintain interest in the misé-en-scene.

B.P. Swanson said...

Yeah, except that isn't what happened. He was writing the novel he intends to publish, and went off track. He's still taking it to the same place he would have if he hadn't gone off track, so releasing what he wrote would be like releasing an alternate reality novel that never gets concluded. Regardless of whether or not Shier cares about his fans, this would be bound to leave the vast majority of them disappointed. He would have to sift through mail from people begging him to finish the alternate version of the story, etc. Trust me when I tell you that by the time a book gets through the final stages of editing, a writer has already rewritten his book, possibly several times, and he certainly isn't going to be looking forward to returning to the same process for a story he's already told. What writers release are edited scenes that didn't make the final editing cut. They were scenes relevant to the writer, but not the story. They were scenes that built additional back ground or built character. This is a different type of editing. These cuts don't change the story, they just didn't add enough to it to stay in. What Shier has is a different animal all together and will likely never see the light of day.

All told, I wouldn't turn my nose up to a sample chapter though :)

76Dachshund said...

I said there was no "advantage in it for the author" meaning literary advantage, no where did I claim B was just in it for the money....

And what do you mean fans would be interested in a (read:non-Rei central)? Are you dissing our girl? That's right up there with stealing a guys pudding cup!

Seriously - glad to see your opinions on the website and YES we would all love a first chapter preview :)

Dave said...

B-
I just finished the 2nd book. You have the best new series I have found in quite a while, and I do a ton of reading especially in this genre. You have developed some incredible characters and I found I actually cared about what happened to them rather than the characters just being part of getting a decent read/story out of it. Thank you! Keep it up. I look forward to the next one, and hope you are at least as or more successful author than MD so I will have many more of your books to read in the future.

Wadoka said...

I stopped reading Terry Brooks books a long time ago because he always managed to kill off (or essentially kill off) a pretty girl he'd made me care for, in his Shannara series.

I want to thump Brandon Sanderson for the same reason. But I can't stop reading his stuff yet. He only did it once - so far.

I am in in it for the "Happily ever after" :)

Thanks for giving us people we care about, comrade author.

Hope springs... Forever.

IronToBind said...

That's not really a thing, Vin and Elend died at the end of the story. Granted I didn't really want them to die it worked out fine.

Anyway thanks for the update B, I kinda figured at the hard times ahead since the end of Sum was so heartbreaking. No rush or anything but I've lost track of how many times I have read the first two :)

Roderick D Mitchell Jr said...

If you are going to do what I think you are going to do, that nurse you mentioned who said you better treat Rei right is gonna have some words with you.

Anonymous said...

Please dont Dresden tango.

Nicholas Hooper said...

I am very glad to find that this third book will be coming out. I am very fond of zero sight and zero sum. I jumped up and down a few times, and made some angry noises, at not being able to find the third book on Amazon. Thank you for keeping us readers in the loop, and for putting this much effort into your series.

Oh, and please, please, please, allow a happy ending for Rei and Dieter! I expect them to go through hell, of course; but I'm in it for the eventual happy ending!

Of course, no matter which direction you take the story in that regard, I'm still going to buy it, read it, and buy and read anything else you release! I'm making all of my family members and close friends buy your first two books, and have even recommended them to some of my students. Best of luck with both your medical career and your writing B!

I'd also be game for some beta reading if you would want another! (It'd be a wonderful change from the high school essays I 'get' to review.)

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Sameth Alister said...

It's good to hear that you are still working on the zero sight books. I'm sad that you had to ax out some Dietery goodness, but it wouldn't feel the same if you didn't. I hope that Dieto and Rei eventually get their happy ending, after skipping through hell, running from lidarc eggs, building a human sized version of Man-Dough, and testing out whether you really can only kill someone a little. Just try not to kill anyone too much. I hope that after Dieter and Rei overcome all the obstacles in their way, that maybe they could have a happy ending. I may have strayed off topic, but I look forward to the third but hopefully not final book! Keep up the magical work!

token Williams said...

This series is amazing and I keep spreading the word about your books. I am looking foreward to your next book any news on when the next book is on the way?

Anonymous said...

Hey, I loved your books and I was wondering if you could give us an update on the progress of the next one. We haven't heard anything in almost seven months.

I'm starting to wonder if you've gone and died again.
:)

Cheers

Anonymous said...

Seconded. Occasional progress updates would be most appreciated.

Great books, I read Zero Sight just a few months after you released it. It was the first self published book I took a chance on and I am quite glad that I did.

Jan Christoph Weiss said...

And another month passed without any news...

Any news?

feanor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
feanor said...

I have just finished reading both books for the 3rd time. I really enjoy them and every reread, I catch another oblique reference to either mythology or modern society that I missed.

Of the 644 books on my kindle, these are some of my favorites.

I have to say though.... an update, or perhaps a sample chapter or two would be very welcome.

Thanks for the great writing.

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Anonymous said...

Hi

any info hows the work going? Please give your faithful acolytes a little bit of hope. Any info would be better than none.

Hope to hear from you soon

Anonymous said...

Posted in 2012? Its real rough to hear that work has stagnated so thoroughly.

I loved the first two books, and any form of update on the third would be appreciated. Hell, I'd contribute significantly to a kickstarter if that would get this book out quicker!

Anonymous said...

I have just finished reading the first 2 books and I have to admit that I'm completely hooked. Is there any way we could finally get an update?
From what I've read on here and your website, you seem to have thought out at least 4 books and since I'm on that high after my first time reading the books, I'm feeling the munchies for some more.
Pease let Dieter and Rei get there happy ending! It doesn't really matter if the go through hell to get there, that just makes it worth it in the end.
Also, I don't care what others say, Jules and Dieter should not end up together, at least permanently. She's a great support character and all, and I don't mind if they get together for a little while, especially while he's trying to sup up to go after Rei. But her and Dieter just don't fit right long term, and I think Hera would back me up on that.

hawkdoctor809 said...

B,

I started reading the Zero Sight Series on a whim about 3 years ago when they first came out. I "gobbled" up the first and then the second books, amazing works both of them. I have so looked forward to learning more about who or what Hara is and the fate of Rei. Any kind of update would be greatly appreciated. I do understand that you are an extremely busy person what with medical school and all the wonderful things that end up filling your plate because of it. You have to re-write the stuff you've written for Zero Tango as well, we get that but please give your loyal followers an update when you are able to.

Anonymous said...

Did you die or something?

Anonymous said...

I like such nice picture but to tell the truth I am embarrassed that I have no idea who Aretha Franklin is? Sorry for that I will correct it like in writing authors try to do their best custom writing to make everything perfect.

Dakota M said...

This is quite possibly the most depressing thing ever, finding a series you love and left wondering if it's being continued or not. Just let us know if you're even writing still and give us some closure man.

Anonymous said...

Just reason the books for the 'th time going slightly batsh** waiting for the next installment. If you could give us a time frame?

Peter Lavin said...

Man I loved the first two books, I check pretty regularly for any news of the 3rd one! See you haven't posted ANYTHING in over 2 years so I hope you're not dead or something horribly similar!

Anonymous said...

I loved the first two books, but this wait is killing me. I understand your in med school working your heart out but could you attempt to estimate when the third book will come out (if you're even still writing it). Even an estimate to the year would be appreciated.
Sincerely,
One of your MANY fans

kikyoreborn said...

Write well and have Deiter and Rei come out well enough that they get a good boost in there abilities and with not TOO many new scars and it will be good enough. I would say that Deiter getting a better grasp on his dhampir and other abilities as well as munching out on some stupid vamps to show them who has the bigger "fangs" as well as gaing a better understanding of his connection with Rei.

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I'm dying to know! said...

Look, it's been almost half a decade since the latest update on zero tango, I don't mean to be impatient, although waiting 5 years before saying something is hardly impatient, but is the book going to be coming out in the next half a decade? Or should I just file the series under completed?

JunJun Fresnoza said...

I just re-read Zero Sight and Zero Sum as I have been doing every year while waiting for Tango. Still as good! I just hope when Tango is published the next one comes soon after!